All Blacks: Wallabies' claim a 'desperate' ploy

By Steven Holloway

The Wallabies' claim that the All Blacks are "vulnerable" for Saturday's test against Australia is a desperate ploy to try and upset the Bledisloe Cup holders, according to former All Black great Stu Wilson.

Amid a prevailing view that the injury-hit Aussies cannot challenge the All Blacks' dominance, Wallabies assistant coach Nick Scrivener said that the All Blacks were too "comfortable" to be unbeatable.

"They've had limited disruption with their personnel, they're very comfortable with how they play," Scrivener told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"We definitely have identified areas where we think we can go and play with pressure and those points are going to be very important."

But Wilson - who played 34 tests for the All Blacks and is currently in Brisbane for the match - struggled to understand why the All Blacks would go soft against Australia after such an outstanding Rugby Championship season.

"When you are desperate you start to say a few things to try and upset the opposition. To me this is beautiful," he said.

"I seriously don't think someone like Richie McCaw and the senior members of that All Black side are going to let their standards slip."

Wilson said that the only way he could envisage Australia winning was if Dan Carter and Richie McCaw somehow got lost on the way to the ground, and even then would still be happy putting money down on the All Blacks.

"The crowd will get behind them, they'll probably score first like the South Africans and Argentinians did, but have they got what it takes to go the full 80 minutes? At the moment there is not a team in world rugby that can go with the All Blacks for 80 minutes, and that is a fact."

Wilson credits the All Blacks 16-game unbeaten streak to "the back seat of the bus", and said the leadership group of McCaw, Carter, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock and Conrad Smith is responsible for driving the team on and off the field.

"We've always had it, and the day we lose that seniority of players is the day we will start to lose some games. These guys have a very big impact on the team and I don't think Australia has got that at the moment. Australia don't have a backseat on their bus."

Wilson highlighted the recent disarray involving Quade Cooper tweeting about the Wallabies' system and problems with the coaching as a prime example of a lack of leadership.

"If that had been in the All Black camp he would have been taken into the backroom and told in no uncertainty that it does not happen, by the older guys in the team.

"Have they got no senior players in there, wrapping these guys around the neck saying if you do that one more time I'll drop you? Doesn't seem like it. But we do and the younger players relish that."

The Wallabies side has been decimated with injuries and over half of Robbie Dean's best 22 players are unavailable for the Bledisloe Cup Test against a full strength All Blacks side.

To the neutral it would seem that if anyone is vulnerable, it is the Wallabies.




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